Zoo Nights at ZSL London Zoo

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A lion is less than impressed by visitors at Zoo Nights

Following in the footsteps of several other London attractions that offer late night opening, ZSL London Zoo is now open after hours on selected Friday nights for its Zoo Nights events.

It’s a visit to the zoo with a twist; last Friday night they added a bar, a jazz band and lots of animal feedings and displays to keep nocturnal visitors entertained.

Last time I went to London Zoo was on a school trip, and armed with a glass of Pimms this time, instead of a stack of worksheets, I was eager to explore.

Zoo Nights certainly attracted a different crowd to the daytime staple of families and school trips. Couples and groups of people in their twenties and thirties made up the majority of evening visitors. That’s not to say there weren’t any families or kids about (there were lots), but you have a much better chance of getting near new kids’ exhibit Animal Adventure. It may be designed for children, but us adults managed to fit into the underground tunnels too!

Red Panda

So what did the animals make of all the noise and activity going on after their bedtime? Well, the giraffes seemed more than happy with their late night feed, the nocturnal lemurs were excitedly running around in their enclosure, and the lions simply viewed us with disdain!

Zoo Nights was certainly a different way to spend a Friday night. My top tip would be to make sure you see your favourite animals first, as you don’t have the luxury of a whole day to explore, and the indoor animal houses close at 9pm.

Zoo Nights itself closes at 10pm but with Camden just around the corner, you can easily continue your Friday night out.


  1. Lilac says:

    Great photo of the sleepy lion. Love it! : )

  2. jose adams says:

    I love this photo too – reminds me of what a brilliant place the zoo is.